Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Ships

November 10, 2018
Broken water pipe delays

The announcement comes despite an increase in cruise passenger traffic to the port in recent years.

"At this time, we do not have any ships planned for New Orleans in the winter 2015-16 season once Serenade of the Seas departs in April 2015, " said Janet Diaz, a spokeswoman for Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean's 2, 360-passenger Serenade of the Seas ship replaced the slightly larger Navigator of the Seas at the port in December. The Serenade of the Seas had undergone a $29 million renovation that added three restaurants, an outdoor café and wireless Internet throughout the ship.

It docks at the Julia Street Terminal and specializes in seven-night cruises to the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Port president and CEO Gary LaGrange said Royal Caribbean had signed a two-year berthing agreement with two one-year options to renew in 2011. That contract will expire at the close of the 2014-2015 season, he said.

LaGrange said Royal Caribbean's decision was likely motivated by an increasing demand for cruise ships in Asia, particularly Hong Kong.

"It's become more of a new trend for people in Asia to take cruise vacations, " he said. Based on a conversation with Royal Caribbean president and CEO Adam Goldstein, LaGrange said, Hong Kong will "be likely to replace New Orleans."

It is unclear whether the cruise line will return to New Orleans in 2016. LaGrange noted that Royal Caribbean recently left New Orleans for one season, only to return in 2011.

LaGrange said the port tried to persuade Royal Caribbean to remain for the last six months. But during that time, he said, the port has also made overtures to at least four cruise lines that do not currently operate out of the port, including Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, MSC and Disney.

He said that Robert Jumonville, the director of cruise and tourism at the port, has been in regular conversation with officials at the prospective cruise lines. "It'd be great if Princess of Holland America came in and filled the void, " LaGrange said.

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